3 Financial Stocks Moving The Sector Upward

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 72 points (0.4%) at 16,112 as of Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,810 issues advancing vs. 1,095 declining with 165 unchanged.

The Financial sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the sector include Allstate ( ALL), up 3.0%, Woori Finance Holdings ( WF), up 1.6%, Host Hotels & Resorts ( HST), up 0.9%, Blackstone Group ( BX), up 0.9% and Morgan Stanley ( MS), up 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Employers Holdings ( EIG), down 19.4%, AllianceBernstein Holding L.P ( AB), down 4.4%, Altisource Portfolio Solutions ( ASPS), down 4.3%, Ocwen Financial Corporation ( OCN), down 4.1% and Nationstar Mortgage Holdings ( NSM), down 3.6%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Marsh & McLennan Companies ( MMC) is one of the companies pushing the Financial sector higher today. As of noon trading, Marsh & McLennan Companies is up $0.43 (0.9%) to $48.00 on light volume. Thus far, 591,257 shares of Marsh & McLennan Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.58-$48.09 after having opened the day at $47.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.57.

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., a professional services company, provides advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy, and human capital. It operates in two segments, Risk and Insurance Services, and Consulting. Marsh & McLennan Companies has a market cap of $26.2 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate Marsh & McLennan Companies a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Marsh & McLennan Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. Get the full Marsh & McLennan Companies Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, U.S. Bancorp ( USB) is up $0.26 (0.7%) to $40.22 on light volume. Thus far, 2.0 million shares of U.S. Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $39.88-$40.33 after having opened the day at $39.95 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.95.

U.S. Bancorp, a financial services holding company, provides a range of financial services in the United States. Its services include lending and depository services, cash management, capital market, and trust and investment management services. U.S. Bancorp has a market cap of $74.4 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 0.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate U.S. Bancorp a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates U.S. Bancorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full U.S. Bancorp Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

1. As of noon trading, Bank of America Corporation ( BAC) is up $0.09 (0.6%) to $16.29 on average volume. Thus far, 46.8 million shares of Bank of America Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 103.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $16.18-$16.36 after having opened the day at $16.22 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.20.

Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services for individual consumers, small and middle market businesses, institutional investors, corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $175.7 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 5.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate Bank of America Corporation a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of America Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Bank of America Corporation Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

If you are interested in one of these 3 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).
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